I was first introduced to LinkedIn back in 2006 when I was being made redundant from my last permanent job. I attended one of those work-related workshops on “what next, after redundancy”. The trainer invited us to LinkedIn and recommended that we should connect all connect there. I soon found friends, former University friends and people whom I have worked with on the site. I saw LinkedIn originally as a place to post my profile, my Curriculum Vitae. And here comes day 5 of the Suitcase Entrepreneur social media challenge.
How are you using LinkedIn to establish your credibility, build your professional rolodex and attract new clients, partnerships or business?
My personal profile is a starting point on where I have been and where I am now. For years my main focus was on selling my skill set to a prospective employer. This all change when I started to do interim work; became a consultant. My role was to go in, bring things up-to-date, streamline and perhaps suggest different process improvements. Therefore I had to think of my profile as brand, a business. In terms of LinkedIn training, I have read materials and also attended training webinars. From one of these webinars I learnt the importance of using keywords, not just titles. This enabled me to feature on the top of the list of people who had certain skills. I also have a summary, which I wanted not to read like, ” I am a person originally from a corporate background”. This is because there are plenty of people out there with the same “job title”.
The amazing thing about LinkedIn is that you can use it to maximise your profile. Not like the Curriculum Vitae (CV) where you list titles and achievements. You can share your portfolio, even your manifesto through a slideshare. From the profile you can be headhunted. I have had people approach me direct about from finding my profile. As it is a great marketing tool, I must make sure that I am maximising my profile.
I tested out having a company page for ProActive Vision Training, and it has been a great training in terms of building a microsite for a business. I will be doing more training on this. I intend to create a new one for my recent start-up GoGetterMe.
I am a member of a number of groups in LinkedIn. Some I joined as they were linked to my areas of expertise. Others I joined since I was interested in the topics, for example being a blogger. I also learnt that being part of a group, or having a group, could be a great way to not only share interesting material and engage; I can also make people aware of my projects.
To keep my personal profile updated with my projects, and to make sure that I am people are hearing about my best work, so that they can trust my brand.